The Definitive Post-MIX10 Review


So I didn’t go to MIX. 

Budgets and such can be a real pain.  Simply put, there wasn’t any money for me to go to MIX this year.  But I’m not going to let NOT going to MIX10 prevent me from writing a (if not THE best) review of MIX.

Windows Phone 7

I applaud Microsoft for changing the name, because the “Windows Mobile” line has really left a stale taste in the mouths of people across the world.  I’m very impressed by the new UI, and it shows that Microsoft is really ready to step up the game against the iPhone and Android.

I’m a native Android user.  It’s a terrific device, and I tell people it’s the best phone I’ve owned *thus far*.  When I’m up for renewal, I have no qualms against getting a Windows Phone.  The developer experience alone is reason enough for me to get one.  I love the idea of being able to take existing XNA and Silverlight applications and porting them to the Windows Phone.

I’ve been thinking about the whole “no copy and paste” and “no multitasking” issues.  Copy and Paste doesn’t bother me.  My Droid supports it, but I think I’ve only used it in maybe one or two cases.  Instead, I’d like to see context sensitive selection.  If I select a phone number, let me put it in a new contact, call it, add it to an email, whatever.  I don’t need copy and paste if the phone knows what to do with what I’ve selected.

I’ve shunned the iPhone for no multitasking, and my Droid does it natively.  But sometimes multitasking can be a huge drain on the battery life of a phone.  I’ve seen my Droid use 100% of its battery in 4 hours (without me touching it).  While it might take some getting used too, I’m not going to fault the Windows Phone for not having it. 

Internet Explorer 9

I downloaded the technical preview.  If you haven’t, I would do it right now.  One thing I noticed right away is that the JavaScript engine is leaps and bounds faster than what I’m used to seeing.  It’s great to see Microsoft pushing forward on web standards such as CSS3 and HTML5, instead of pushing people to use Silverlight for all of their web development.

Don’t get me wrong, Silverlight is a fantastic technology and it is far better than Adobe Flash will ever be.   That does not mean it is a one-shot kill for all line of business applications on the web.  In fact, I still prefer to do a lot of work using traditional HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.  Once we can kill off IE6 (and IE7 too), we’ll be in a position where developing web pages isn’t a total pain in the butt.

I’m looking forward to seeing the final product in a few months.  I’m hoping that Microsoft spends more time either improving the developer tools for IE or making IE pluggable so someone else can write better developer tools.  “But Kevin, what’s wrong with the IE developer tools in IE8?”  Go use Firebug for 10 minutes and you’ll have answered your own question.

Conclusion

This is a great time to be involved in technology.  If you’re not willing to adapt, you will be left behind.  I’m going to start saving for MIX 2011 now, because I think we’re going to continue to see great things come our way!

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